... tugs at your heartstrings and implores you to keep turning the pages ... Karen Hawkins has delivered a great start to her new series. It is sweet and cozy with strong heroines and lovable secondary characters, all living in a town that comes to life with the author’s imagery. The blend of magic, love, friendship, struggles and trials is woven beautifully throughout the pages. I personally liked her style of alternating the points of view among Sarah, Grace and the next-door vet who suffers from PTSD, Trav. Although the ending comes a bit quickly, the epilogue serves to soften the blow and tie up a few loose strands. All in all, The Book Charmer is an intriguing story that will leave readers anxious for book two.
Hawkins has created a delightfully quirky town, and the ending leaves the possibility of a sequel or series. Reminiscent of Sarah Addison Allen, Abbi Waxman, and Fannie Flagg, this is a great summer read for those who love small southern towns filled with magic.
Fans of droll small town stories will find a lot to love here ... ama G’s illness is depicted extremely well and watching her struggles with it are the most realistic and touching elements of the story ... Sarah, Grace’s best friend and an important inhabitant of Dove Pond, was the most difficult part of the story for me. Her magic seems to be more of a deux ex machina than a real ability, and the citizenry of her community are far too accepting of the Dove’s family special-ness to be anywhere near realistic. I’m a big fan of fantasy, urban fantasy and magical realism, but the magical elements of the tale detract from it rather than add to it. They just aren’t written with any acknowledgment of what life would be like for a person who actually possessed magical abilities. Additionally, Sarah’s interactions with Blake, the town sheriff and her future love interest, are infantile and I lost what little interest I had in her as a character after a particularly painful moment when he was asking her about his role in an important festival she was helping to chair and all she could do was swoon and imagine kissing him while he was trying to get the information he needed ... one of those books written for a very particular audience. For fans of small town stories and women’s fiction tales that concentrate on the heroine’s growth arc it will be a very enjoyable read.